Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The Finnish Invasion Blog Tour and Review - The Exiled by Kati Hiekkapelto

The Very Pink Notebook is thrilled to be part of Kati Hiekkapelto's, The Exiled, Finnish Invasion blog tour this week.  With much thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for involving me in the tour and for a copy of the book.

The Exiled copy

Published by : Orenda Books
15 November 2016
Copy : Paperback - Received from publisher as part of Blog Tour

The Blurb

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal?  

Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?

The Very Pink Notebook Review

Kati Hiekkapelto has brought alive a fantastic character in protagonist Anna Fekete.  I love her single-minded, tunnel vision of herself - crime fighting police officer, workaholic, because if she is that person, she doesn't need to worry about a personal life and finding out who she really is.  Only, in the case she finds herself embroiled when she takes a trip back 'home' she is forced to face up to some reality about her past.  Full of twists and turns and a plethora of unreliable and corrupt characters it is impossible to know who is telling the truth, who is noble, who is not.  I couldn't even attempt to second guess what was going to happen thus making this novel a real page turner. 

Hiekkapelto has chosen a subject matter particularly prevalent at the moment to address in this novel, one of immigration.  She uses a cross section of characters to voice the many, many opinions that can be heard far and wide about the issue and I felt she put down a very equal measure of a very real situation within her book.  The use of well thought out imagery of the Balkans by the author helps to darken and lighten the tone of the story and with the writing as sharp as the character the plot moves along at a good steady pace.  The balance of police investigation to Anna's private affairs was well proportioned and the author made me feel as if I got to know the inner workings of Anna's mind quite intimately, which helped me understand, as the reader, why she makes the decisions she does. 

I particularly liked the relationship between Anna and her mother, complex and highly emotional although in an indirect way rather than direct way it helped to explain how Anna can force herself to be seemingly so emotionless towards anything or anyone other than work. 

Although this is a fairly dark crime novel, it is written with a poetic feeling about it, with the descriptions about the Tisza, the mayfly hatching that makes the river blossom, the festival that all the inhabitants of the town are literally waiting for so they can celebrate.  It is a bright light of hope, in a novel who's subject matter is really quite bleak.

If you enjoy a good cat and mouse hunt then you will enjoy the translated version of Kati Hiekkapelto's The Exiled.

Follow the Tour

Find out what others thought of The Exiled by following the tour.  Tomorrow I hand over to Blooming Brilliant Books :

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